What is volunteering?
Volunteering England defines volunteering as “any activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment or someone (individuals or groups) other than, or in addition to, close relatives.” Central to this definition is the fact that volunteering must be a choice freely made by each individual. This can include formal activities undertaken through public, private and voluntary organisations as well as informal community participation.
Every year over 20 million people across England and the UK volunteer, donating more than 100 million hours to their communities every week. It is estimated that the annual economic value of volunteering is worth in excess of £40 billion to our economy.
Volunteering can be very flexible and depending on your interests, time and skills, there are hundreds of different charities and community groups in Ealing and Hounslow which you can support and hundreds of roles available to you as a volunteer. From being a befriender, to helping with administration to website design, assisting at events, or even volunteering in local parks – there’s a really wide range of opportunities. From full-time volunteering to one-off activities, whatever amount of time you have to give to volunteering, there’s an activity that’s just right for you.
There are many reasons why people choose to volunteer:
- It’s fun!
- It improves your health and happiness
- Something different
- Make new friends
- Learn new skills
- Develop the skills you already have
- Get involved in your community
- Help local people and causes
Things to consider before you start…
- For information from the Department of Work and Pensions about whether volunteering will affect benefits, visit https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/volunteering-while-benefits
The Ealing and Hounslow Volunteer Centre recognises the important contribution that volunteers make in our communities and the many hours of service they provide. As a result, volunteers who have contributed 100 hours or more are eligible to apply for a Volunteer Century Certificate.
If you have volunteered for 100 hours or more, we would love to hear from you. Please send your name, along with the email address and contact name of the organisation you have volunteered with, to email@example.com and we will send you the certificate. Thanks again for your valued support to the community!